Filters for Haze Penetration in Photography

Filters for Haze Penetration in Photography

  • The scattering of short-wavelength light from fine particles of water and other material suspended in the atmosphere, and from the air molecules themselves, that causes the sky to appear blue is also what causes the blue haze that obscures distant objects and vistas. This haze can be penetrated, to reveal in the print what the eye cannot see well, if the same filters are used as were recommended for sky effects generally.

  • Filters, however, are not always necessarily appropriate. It may be desirable to retain part or all of the haze effect, or even to increase it by the use of a light-blue filter, to emphasize distance and size relationships by what is called aerial perspective, the expression of space in a picture by the gradation of tone: in a scene with haze, the farther away a land formation or object is, the lighter its tone. Also, if the water drops or other suspended matter are large enough to scatter the longer wavelengths of light, filtering will no longer be effective. No filter can cut through fog or smoke.

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